Columbus Half-Marathon Recap & MCM Plans.

With all the drama of the past week, and so much going on this weekend, there is still more that I need to catch up on!  Saturday was spent celebrating all day at the beautiful family wedding in Ohio, but Sunday had an event of it’s own – the Columbus Half Marathon!  Casey and I were both signed up to run this race, and in my accident-induced haze, I actually still tried to pack my running clothes “just in case.”  Casey kindly removed them from the suitcase before we left.  :)

Originally he tried to claim he wasn’t going to run, but I would have none of it.  SOMEONE was going to run that damn race!  So early Sunday morning, after about 5 hours of sleep, we were up and getting ready to head out to the starting line.  We totally lucked out that our hotel for the wedding ended up being directly across from the starting line.  There were runners preparing and stretching all over the place.

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In the darkness of the morning, we made our way out to the starting line and said our goodbyes.  I think Casey was really nervous to leave me alone on crutches, but I knew I had friends meeting me later, and there was no way I was not going to cheer for him.

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As the gun went off and the runners started moving, my eyes welled up with tears.  This was not the way this morning was supposed to go.  I’m glad that I was able to get my race envy out of the way though, so I’ll be primed and ready to smile and cheer at the Marine Corps Marathon next weekend.

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Runners moving so fast that they were a huge BLUR!  I kept my eyes peeled for Casey, as well as three friends – Chuck, Kevin, and Amelia – all running the full marathon, but in a dense field of 15,000 runners I didn’t see a single one of them.

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Even though I didn’t get to run the race myself, I had a great time as a spectator.  I was actually really impressed by the Columbus Marathon, and am definitely planning to add it to my list of “must-run” in the future.  The runners took off just as the sun started to come up over downtown.

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Once the bulk of the field had passed me, I made my way down about four blocks to the turn just past the 9 mile marker.  I wanted to get to an earlier spot, but realistically I was just too slow on my crutches to get anywhere else.  This was still just three days out from my accident, and I was trying to juggle my camera and my bag on crutches.  When I finally made it to the turn, I was SO impressed at the number of spectators that came out for this race!

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Not too much later, the first wheelchairs started to come through, and we knew the runners wouldn’t be too far behind.  I have so much respect for the hand bike competitors.  I remember feeling really overwhelmed by the sheer number of them at MCM last year.

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A few minutes later, the lead runners came through!  Just two neck and neck, leading the way…

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I had calculated in my head that if Casey was running 7 minute miles, he should be to mile 9 right around 8:30ish.  Like clockwork, he showed up as expected!

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At that point my mom, sister, and Lindsey had all found and joined me, and we all screamed his name and cheered.  I started waving my crutches in the air like a maniac which got his attention, and a smile.  :)

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Once we saw him, I knew I would have just about 20 minutes to get to the mile 12 marker which was one block away.  Sadly, one block takes me a LONG time, so we started hoofing it over there as soon as Casey passed.  Sure enough, still looking awesome – he flew past us just before the turn for the finish line.

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It will take a lot more than a Chevy Tahoe to stop me from cheering on my speedster husband in a race.  :)

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Here’s an overhead shot of the area where full marathoners kept going and half finishers turned off to the finish chute.

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I thought it was kind of rough for full marathoners to essentially have to run RIGHT past the finish line at the half-way point!

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Soooo many runners, and such a great (somewhat reflective) view of downtown Columbus.

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The four of us made our way to the VERY crowded finishers area almost a mile away, which was really hard for me to get to on crutches.  As we headed there I realized Casey and I had made a huge oversight in not communicating a meetup spot, but I just assumed we would find each other right outside the runner’s recovery area.

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We made our way there and searched around for a while with no Casey in sight.  I kept hoping he would borrow a cell phone and find out where we were.  Eventually he DID borrow a cell phone and called me…from the hotel…which he had already returned to.  Meanwhile, I was over a mile away at the finish line.

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A few choice words to myself, and BIG congratulations later, we finally found each other outside of the hotel.  I was SO PROUD of him for such a good run.  Are you ready for his finish time?  1:33:12 – a 7:07 pace, beating his PR by three minutes.  I have no idea how he runs that fast.  He is incredible!  :)

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After the accident, Casey originally said he wasn’t going to run.  I am SO glad that he changed his mind and that I could be out there supporting him.  Next year I am determined to be out there running it myself!

And speaking of my runs, I am starting to accept the reality that I am not running the Marine Corps Marathon in 9 days.  It would truly take a miracle.  Because he is awesome, Casey volunteered to run it in my place.  (Who volunteers to RUN a marathon 9 days out?  He is in amazing running shape.)

I emailed the MCM staff and explained my situation to see if I could get a late bib transfer and have them switch our info.  They emailed back and said no.  :(  I understand though – rules are rules.  So here is my question to you – do you think it would be wrong for Casey to run with my bib number?  He is fast, but still not quite fast enough that he would disrupt any age or division rankings.  He would simply be running in my place, with a bib that I paid $110 for.  Any thoughts on this?

Update:  Casey and I are “play by the rules” types.  I had NO idea that switching places was such a serious issue, and we would never do anything that would upset race directors or potentially get us in trouble.  We have so much respect for the sport of running.  I guess I didn’t really think that one through all the way, huh?  Thank you all so much for your helpful responses!  We will both happily cheer on the sidelines, and I will try to defer to next year.  :)

Whether he runs MCM or not, I am so excited to cheer for all the friends that will be up here running – Jen, Matt, Freya, Erika – and others.  Running is hands down the BEST spectator sport ever.  :)